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Do you have a relationship you want to hide from your parents? Are your parents unreasonable, abusive, or just a bit too conservative? Whether you’re keeping it a secret because you’re too young or because your parents won’t approve due to their values, hiding your relationship can be challenging. While you could risk losing your parents’ trust if they ever find out, you don’t want to put yourself in harm’s way or compromise your values. Communication, honesty, and trust are essential to any relationship, but sometimes you need to be less than truthful for your own mental and physical health.

Examining Why You Should Hide Your Relationship

  1. 1Evaluate your priorities. Decide if it’s actually a good idea to keep your relationship with your parents. Do your parents disapprove of your relationship because they are strict, protective or worrisome? Does culture, religion, or an age difference factor into their disapproval?[1] While your parents have the benefit of life experience, only you know what your relationship is worth to you.
    • Talk to your friends and support system. Remember that if you keep your relationship a secret, the greater the potential problems will be when it comes to light. You have a support system to help guide you in the right direction.
    • If you just don’t think the relationship is serious enough yet and don’t wish your parents to make a big deal of it, some of the following instructions may be excessive. Consider how your parents may feel if you exaggerated the need for secrecy; they may feel disappointed and wonder why don’t you trust them.
    • Take risks prevention if you really go ahead. For example, think about what would you do if you are caught by your parents, think about what would you do if your parents know you are owning a separate social media account/secret cell phone that makes use to communicate with your partner, think about what would you do if your dating relationship goes wrong, think about what would you do if you broke up, etc. Consider whether these risks/consequences are affordable. It is recommended to be honest if you are getting caught. Once you get caught, more lies would only make you get into greater trouble, damaging a family relationship. As for dating relationship goes wrong or challenges comes, you will need great mental and physical quality to afford it without any support from your parents.
  2. 2Communicate with your partner. If you want to pursue your relationship despite knowing that your parents will disapprove, let your partner know why you think that this is the right course of action. Your partner may feel less important and bring resentment to your relationship if you don’t clarify your stance. The longer you hide, the more difficult it is going to be.[2]
    • Your partner may have a valid argument if he or she has been through this situation before. For example, just because it is your first interracial relationship, it may not be the first time for your partner. He or she may have practical advice to help you understand where your parents are coming from and, above all else, having her support can help ease your stress.
    • Your partner may also misunderstand the situation. Some people expect to be introduced at the start of a serious relationship, some are cool with waiting, and some do not wish to be introduced for quite some time.
  3. 3Consider the opinions of your parents. It may be difficult to hear negative opinions about someone you care about, but sometimes your parents may have a better perspective on long-term outcomes. Depending on your dynamic with your parents, they may have trouble articulating their disapproval.
    • Relationships with parents can be complicated. It may be difficult to be open and honest but keep your communication respectful so as not to escalate the situation. For example, while you may think that you are hiding your emotions, you actually may be coming off passive-aggressive or snarky.
  4. 4Remember all healthy relationships are built on trust, respect, and communication. Whether you are trying to strengthen your relationship with your partner or maintain the relationship with your parents, trust and respect have to be present for a lasting relationship. If you plan on hiding your relationship, ask yourself why sacrificing your parent’s trust is the only option.[3] Physical and emotional well-being should not be sacrificed for anyone, including your parents or partner.
    • Will your parents become physically or verbally abusive if they found out about your relationship? Is any aspect of your relationship conflict with your parents’ beliefs? If your parents’ disapproval is based on prejudice or if their reaction is abusive, seek professional help. Your mental and physical health is your first priority.
Overcoming Overbearing Parents

Be mature. Your parents will always be protective so show them that you are old enough to handle the responsibilities of a relationship. Firstly, show your parents that you are responsible and can follow all the rules. If your parents think you are too young for a relationship, be on time, do your chores, and study. If you can gain your parents’ trust, then your parents will soon realize that you are mature enough to handle a relationship.

Understand the risks of premarital sex. Parents often forbid relationships for fear of unplanned pregnancies and sexually transmitted infection. Ensure that you and your partner truly understand these risks. There is a real possibility that if you are not prepared, and you do have an unwanted pregnancy or contract an STD, your parents may not be there to support you or just can’t help you (e.g., they can help you with bringing up a child to some extent, if they wish to do so; they can’t cure HIV).[4]You may not agree with your parents rules, but communicate with your partner and respect each other’s boundaries to ensure you are both prepared and safe.Know that you should be respected by your significant other and that they should listen to your choices. Compromise is vital in a relationship, but this is one area where neither party should have to compromise their beliefs. Know that if you are eager to take the relationship to another level but your partner isn’t ready, you must respect their choice. Never pressure your partner.

Avoid PDA moments. Be discreet about your affection. You never know who is watching. A trusted friend may accidentally tell your parents in passing, not knowing that your relationship is a secret.Stealing kisses in public and other forms of PDA may seem harmless but remember that if your parents find out, they may think that your relationship has already crossed further into the intimacy threshold.

Buy one new cell phone secretly. If it is possible to do so, owning a separate cell phone can help you in concealing information, but please remember that you must hide your new phone properly or you will be in trouble. If you are not able to buy one new phone, you may put a password in your original cell phone and computer if FEASIBLE. However, it is not advised to do so. Putting or changing a password on shared computer/ cell phone may get suspicious, even some parents may ask you to unlock/undo the password set when they check your phone or use the family computer.Delete the messages on your phone when you sleep or leave your phone unattended. It is recommended to delete partly instead of all messages because you may get suspicious if the messaging history is blank.
It is best to use Incognito mode on a browser when you are online. Otherwise, erase browsing history after you have been online. However, erasing browsing history may look suspicious if the browser history has never been erased on a shared device, but if you use Incognito mode, you don’t need to worry about this.
In case your parents check your phone, either don’t put your partner’s number on your phone or use your partner’s nickname or surname instead of his actual first name. It is also possible to use the masculine or feminine form of their name. For example, Brian becomes Brianna and Stephanie becomes Stephen. However, it is best to memorize your partner’s contact information in your mind and don’t put any of his/her contact information on your phone.

Tell your partner not to post anything on social media sites or send instant messages. If you have a social media account or use other instant messaging apps, your parents could check up on you or hear from someone else with access to your account.Create an alternate account that you can use to be romantic with your partner. This is a handy tool when dealing with long distance relationships.

Have a cover. The trustworthy friends take two jobs: 1)Helping you on hiding the relationship and giving you advice on your relationship.They can support you on hiding the relationship such as collaborate on stories for your parents if you’re on a date. Not only those friends can be a great cover-up for phone calls or texts, but they also act as an Intelligence Agency so that you can beat yourself to the punch to take prevention. For instance, you friends find out your parents would go to somewhere on someday, then you should take consideration before you want to meet with your partner.
The another job of them is monitoring your relationship. You should acquire a political wisdom: The more voice, you make smarter decision. It is better to have more than one reliable friends so that you can listen to more than one voice if you have lots of resources to do this, even your friends could form a ‘House’. However the biggest disadvantage is the larger social group, the greater chance of secret leakage even through they are royal. If your friends has concerns about your partner or refuses to continue being your alibi, heed his/her advice. It’s easy to think that one source is wrong, but if multiple sources are telling you not to continue your relationship, perhaps it’s best to listen to their logic. Using them as an excuse if they don’t agree to it is unfair to your friend.

Hide gifts. It is best to hide all the gifts safely. It could be at the outside of your home at your trustworthy friend’s home, rent storage, your partner’s home, etc.It is strongly advised not to keep the gifts at your home because your parents could find these gifts easily if they are intended and diligent in scanning every corner of your house thoroughly.
You’re going to draw attention from your parents if you suddenly lock your closet or room.
You can also agree to treat each other to lunches or movies rather than giving physical gifts.


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